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Just like previous mega-sports events in the past (such as the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa), the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provide a unique opportunity for the United Nations and their partners to communicate on the positive role of sport and to carry out activities in order to advance their humanitarian, development and peace-building objectives.

Present in London is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Carrying the Olympic Torch in the final leg journey in the UK and attending the Opening Ceremony are among the highlights of his activities in London.

Several other UN officials are also present in London, including Mr. Ban's Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried Lemke, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov.

UN entities involved in projects and activities around the Games include ILO, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNEP, UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNODC, WFP and WHO.

Here you will find plenty of information, news, photos and videos about the UN's involvement in and around the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  "Today, sports and events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games break down barriers by bringing together people from all around the world and all walks of life."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in an Olympic Truce
message ahead of London Games
At UN and Olympics exhibition, Ban highlights role of sports in advancing shared goals for peace 18 December 2012
New York (UN News Center) – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recalled today the “many powerful emotions” experienced on 26 July 2012 – the day he took part in the torch run for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in support of the Olympic Truce – and voiced hope that future international sporting events would continue to promote the goal of global peace.
The London Games may be over but their legacy will continue to effect positive change 10 September 2012
Last night, the curtain came down on the London 2012 Paralympic Games, marking the end of a glorious summer not only for elite sport, but also for how sport can contribute to the betterment of our societies. A number of UN organizations and officials contributed to ensuring that both the Olympic and Paralympic Games have a lasting legacy and effect positive social change worldwide.
UN supports the 2012 London Paralympic Games to pursue inclusive and peaceful societies 29 August 2012
London/Geneva (UNOSDP) – In a few hours, the largest ever Paralympic Games will open in London, with more than 4,200 athletes hailing from 166 countries competing in 21 sports. From a UN perspective, the Games offer a great opportunity to keep advancing the inclusion and empowerment of persons with disabilities or impairment, both in and through sport. They are also a celebration of peaceful coexistence.
"Games? Much more than that": Op-ed by UN Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace Wilfried Lemke 27 August 2012
The following text is an open editorial by Mr. Wilfried Lemke, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and, more generally, on the social impact that mega-sports events can or should have:
United Nations issue commemorative stamps for the London 2012 Paralympic Games 17 August 2012
Geneva (UNOSDP/UNPA) – To commemorate the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) issued today commemorative stamps featuring six paralympic sports. A launch event is taking place at the Vienna International Centre, Austria, including a table tennis exhibition between members of the Austrian Paralympic Team and the United Nations table tennis club.
UN ignites the flame of social change through the London 2012 Olympics 13 August 2012
Geneva (UNOSDP) – The London 2012 Olympic Games came to an end yesterday and are already widely lauded as an overall success, with plenty of historic moments that will stay fresh in the minds of many for years to come. But beyond the stadiums, courts and fields where sporting excellence prevailed, the event offered the opportunity to help advance the human development agenda.
In Message on International Day of Friendship, Secretary-General Says Challenge Now to Sustain Global Spirit of Solidarity Forged at Olympic Games in London 30 July 2012
Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the International Day of Friendship, 30 July: "This year’s International Day of Friendship falls as the 2012 Olympic Games are under way in London, reminding us of the power of sport to bring countries and people together.
Secretary-General calls on countries to follow through with Olympic Truce 27 July 2012
New York/London (UN News Centre) – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged countries to follow through with the Olympic Truce, and highlighted the role of sport in promoting peace, dialogue and development.
Olympic spirit gives hope to refugees 27 July 2012
London (UNHCR) – As thousands of athletes and spectators from 205 countries around the world gather in London today for the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, UNHCR is preparing for an Olympics that will have a lasting legacy for refugees.
Campaign against human trafficking held against Olympic backdrop 27 July 2012
Geneva (ILO) – Visitors thronging London for the Olympics might come across huge, brightly coloured gift boxes that promise passers-by a better life, only to reveal the harsh realities of human trafficking on the inside. The art installations are part of the Gift Box campaign that aims to raise awareness about human trafficking, a crime which affects every country in the world in one way or another.
Secretary-General Ban carries Olympic flag during Opening of the London 2012 Olympics 27 July 2012
London (UNOSDP) – At the Opening Ceremony of London 2012 Olympic Games on 27 July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joined eight others as a bearer of the Olympic flag.
Four Olympic Athletes Who Stepped Up For Child Nutrition 26 July 2012
Rome (WFP) – Few people grasp the importance of good nutrition as well as Olympic Athletes. No matter how talented, they can’t give their best without it. Here are four renowned Olympic athletes who say nutrition is just as important to children, especially those who risk not getting enough.
Secretary-General takes part in torch relay ahead of Olympic Games in London 26 July 2012
London/New York (UN News Centre) – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today took part in the traditional torch run ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games which start on Saturday in London, in the United Kingdom.
London 2012 Will Leave a Lasting Legacy for the UK and the Olympic Movement: UNEP Executive Director 26 July 2012
London (UNEP) – Many of London 2012's sustainability measures were given the thumbs up by UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner as he toured final preparations for the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
WFP London Marks 50th Anniversary And Olympics 25 July 2012
(WFP) – To celebrate the 2012 Olympics and mark its 50th anniversary, WFP’s London office has launched – together with Crossrail* – an inspirational exhibition of photos in the capital, showing children from the developing world playing games.
Paralympic athletes and Ban Soon-teak launch the new ‘It’s About Ability’ campaign television commercial 24 July 2012
Montenegro (UNICEF) – During the visit of the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to Montenegro, his wife Ban Soon-teak joined prominent young Paralympic athletes Marijana Goranovic and Ilija Tadic, Minister of Culture Branislav Micunovic, UNICEF Representative in Montenegro Benjamin Perks, Mayor of Cetinje Aleksandar Bogdanovic and Deputy Minister of Education and Sports Vesna Vucurovic in launching the new ‘It’s About Ability’ campaign television commercial ...
Secretary-General to take part in London Olympics torch run 24 July 2012
New York/Geneva (UN News Center, edited by UNOSDP) – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will head later this week to London, where he will take part in the torch run for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games on Thursday and attend the opening ceremony on Friday, his spokesperson announced today.
UN Secretary-General issues message on the Olympic Truce 19 July 2012
New York – Today, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a message calling for the observance of the Olympic Truce throughout the period beginning with the start of the Games of the XXX Olympiad, on 27 July, and ending with the close of the XIV Paralympic Games, on 9 September. Following is the text of the message:
UNEP Honoured to Carry Olympic Flame En Route to London 2012 Opening Ceremony 14 July 2012
Southampton (UNEP) – UNEP gave a hand over the weekend assisting the historic Olympic flame to make its journey around the United Kingdom as part of the preparations for the opening of the London 2012 summer games.
Statement by Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke, on Saudi Arabian female athletes competing at the London Olympic Games 12 July 2012
I warmly welcome the recent decision made by Saudi Arabia to send female athletes to London to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. This decision, following a similar one by Brunei Darussalam and Qatar, marks a significant progress in realizing the right of all to take part in physical and sporting activities, and hence achieving greater gender equality in sport.

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